Greater Manchester Police boss on £100,000 a year can’t find 15 minutes to discuss YOUR concerns on crime

Greater Manchester Police boss Tony Lloyd has been unavailable for almost TWO MONTHS to discuss figures that reveal nearly a third of crimes go unreported across the area.

HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) claimed they had ‘serious concerns’ with the amount of crimes going unreported in Manchester and the lack of faith that the public had in the police force to deal with crime.

MM obtained the statistics in April and have been asking Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Lloyd to discuss the figures with us since April 23.

However, the democratically-elected commissioner – whose £100,000-a-year role includes ‘engaging with the public and victims of crime to help set police and crime plans’ – has not been able to find the requested 15 minutes in his diary to discuss the figures.

This is despite an MM reporter contacting Mr Lloyd and his office more than a dozen times and offering to do the interview at ANY time that suited the police commissioner’s diary during the eight weeks.

During this period, Mr Lloyd will have earned more than £15,000 – yet couldn’t find 15 minutes to discuss the concerns of 60% of the people he is democratically-elected to represent.

Victim support have slammed the statistics, claiming that every instance a crime goes unrecorded represents an instance a victim of a crime loses the opportunity for justice.

The data revealed:

  • Despite recorded crimes falling consistently over the last decade, 60% of people believe that crime has actually risen in the last three years (2010/2011 British Crime Survey)
  • Only 265 out of 388 incidents the HMIC investigated in Greater Manchester in 2013 were recorded as crimes – yet all were deemed crimes by HMIC
  • This means 31% of crimes were improperly recorded by Greater Manchester Police in 2013, denying victims justice and allowing offenders to escape detection
  • Out of a total of 91 no-crime decisions HMIC reviewed (a no-crime means a crime was reported yet no evidence was found when later investigated), only 65 were correct to be logged as such
  • This implies nearly 30% of crimes reported to the police were incorrectly reclassified as no-crimes, again failing victims and allowing offenders to escape justice
  • Community resolutions to crimes are regularly used without consulting the victim to see if this is what they want – and sometimes without checking the perpetrator’s previous criminal records
  • There were major discrepancies between annual crime statistics presented by the Home Office and those collated by the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) 
  • View all the statistics and MM’s analysis here.

Mr Lloyd’s office pointed MM in the direction of a press release from April 24 in which Mr Lloyd released a prepared statement on the Home Office figures.

However he was not available to discuss the discrepancies between the two sets of statistics nor the issues highlighted in the HMIC report.

In declining our request for an interview, Mr Lloyd’s office said: “The matter of perception of crime is something Tony is also working hard to address, backed by his desire to improve transparency across the police and public service.

“Perception of crime is absolutely a matter of considerable public interest and is something that can only be measured through effective community engagement.”

Yet despite frequent calls and emails across eight weeks, Mr Lloyd was unavailable to ‘effectively engage with the community’, via the media.

Mr Lloyd attended a Q&A last night at Manchester Central for city centre business group CityCo.

Here he discussed how to achieve ‘improved partnership working across city stakeholders and how to tackle the crime and disorder issues that presents challenges to Manchester businesses’. 

But why couldn’t find a 15 minute slot to discuss the perception of crime and disorder with a media outlet so that it could be relayed to the general public, not just Manchester business owners and stakeholders?

One visitor, Athena Caramitosis, tweeted one of Mr Lloyd’s soundbites for the night: “A lot of people still don’t know that I’m there or what I’m supposed to do.”

Read MM’s comment on why we feel Tony Lloyd should have been able to find 15 minutes free to discuss these crime statistics with a reporter – and why relying on a pre-prepared press statement is not fulfilling the role of a democratically-elected crime commissioner.

The Police and Crime Commissioner

In November 2012 elections were held across the UK to vote in the countries first Police and Crime Commissioners.

The creation of this £100,000-a-year post was to ‘ensure the policing needs of your community are met as effectively as possible and to oversee how crime is tackled in your area’, according to the government.

The PCC would hold the police to account, bring a public voice to policing by ‘engaging with the public and victims of crime to help set police and crime plans’.

Ex-Labour minister Tony Lloyd was the first PCC for Greater Manchester elected to the post – though only 13.9% actually voted.

During the election, a key part of his promises to the people of Manchester was to:

“Make sure victims of crime are at the centre of events from early investigation, kept in touch with progress and treated with the dignity they should expect.

“Ensure that the anti-social neighbour and the local yob know the police will stop them from terrorising our communities. Victims will get a response within 24 hours.”

Image courtesy of See Faculty TV via YouTube, with thanks.

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